Pep Guardiola told Nathan Ake isn’t the answer to Man City’s defensive cover problem
Nathan Ake has had an important few months in a Manchester City shirt.
After clearing one off the line in the 2-1 New Year’s Day win over Arsenal, the Netherlands defender helped snuff Atletico Madrid attacks across both legs of their Champions League quarter-final tie. In all, he has helped to keep 12 clean sheets in his 25 outings this term.
Ake admitted that he’d had a “difficult” debut season after signing from Bournemouth in 2020. However, he said he now feels in a much better place on the pitch than he did last season.
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Despite his recent upturn in form, he was benched against Real Madrid on Tuesday after not completing the full 90 minutes in the two league fixtures against Brighton and Watford. Former City defender Danny Mills praised Ake’s ability but questioned whether he would ever be a regular in Pep Guardiola’s side.
Speaking to MEN Sport (via FreeSuperTips), he said: “He (Ake) hasn’t had a huge amount of football at Manchester City, but he’s a good player. He came through at Chelsea, played well at Bournemouth, but was he good enough to be a regular starter at Manchester City?
“Probably not, is the answer. And still ‘probably not’ is the answer when you talk about winning the title and trying to win the Champions League. He’s a very good Premier League player and obviously features for his national side as well.
“He’s good in terms of serving a purpose, but I would still have some concerns if you’re using him for six months. I think he’s one of those players who are magnificent to come in for four or five games, but beyond that, if that’s a long-term strategy, then I think there would be concerns.”
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